In 1897, people in western United States began seeing airships in the night skies. Despite abundant reports of sightings from California to Michigan, little explanatory information was given to the public. Speculation arose that the United States government had started a secret flight program or that life from another world had contacted Earth. The implications of each conjecture were staggering, pointing to a major governmental or scientific cover-up that would change the course of history. While this book focuses on the sightings in Texas, it takes into account all of the reports filed. After addressing previous theories of what the airships were and where they came from, this book puts forth a new analysis, using detailed accounts from period newspapers and other documents left behind. By writing in chronological order, Michael Busby traces the course of the flights that led to the mystery. Included are numerous appendixes, figures, and tables that present the information in an easy-to-handle format.